Najib’s 1MDB trial: Investigating officer expected to testify tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR – An investigating officer (IO) for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal is expected to testify in Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s trial involving alleged misappropriation of RM2.3 billion of 1MDB funds at the High Court here, tomorrow.

Justice Datuk Collin Lawrence Sequerah instructed the prosecution to call a new witness as Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah informed the court that he will not be around for tomorrow’s morning proceeding as he has a matter before the Federal Court.

Muhammad Shafee is in the midst of cross-examining the 47th prosecution witness, a Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) analyst Adam Ariff Mohd Roslan (picture), and will return to the stand in the afternoon.

It is learnt that the next witness would be ACP Foo Wei Min, who is the head of Bukit Aman’s anti-money laundering crime investigation team at the material time.

Foo was one of the IO who conducted the raid at a condominium unit owned by Obyu Holdings Sdn Bhd in Pavilion where jewellery, luxury watches and handbags were seized due to alleged linkage of misappropriation of funds from 1MDB on May 17, 2018.

Meanwhile, Adam Ariff denied that he ‘cherry-picked’ his documents and sources while conducting the analysis of the 1MDB money trail which took him four years to complete.

He also disagreed with the contention made by Muhammad Shafee about his analysis on the “Aabar-BVI” phase where the lawyer claimed that he (Adam Ariff) purposely left out the part on the US$233 million purportedly came from the US$975 million loan drawdown.

Muhammad Shafee: I’m putting it to you that the reason you took this route (cherry-picking documents) was because you were given strict instructions to analyse and corroborate what the investigators had proceeded in charges against Najib. You were providing comfort that the investigators were right?

Adam Ariff: I disagree.

Muhammad Shafee: The US$233 million in Aabar from the US$975 million drawdown….that loan had already been fully utilised. So, the payment from Aabar Seychelles was not from the loan.

Adam Ariff: I disagree.

During morning proceedings, Muhammad Shafee repeated that Najib’s defence in the case was that the former premier thought the money that came into his account was from the late Saudi King.

Muhammad Shafee: You know, former BNM governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz recently testified that it took more than three years for BNM to uncover the sources of the funds that were credited into Najib’s account. You took about two years to uncover the matter.

Muhammad Shafee: Thus, that is perfectly reasonable for Najib to not know the sources of the money because even BNM did not know the sources.

Adam Ariff: I have no comments

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before Justice Sequerah continues tomorrow. – BERNAMA